The Senate voted 53-42 Wednesday to confirm the nomination of B. Todd Jones to lead the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF).
The vote came after nearly five hours of delay. Democratic Sen. Heidi Heitkamp had to fly back from her home state of North Dakota at the last minute after Democrats came up one vote short of ending debate on the nomination.
Six Republicans voted with Democrats to end debate in a 60-40 vote. Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) switched her vote to advance Jones’s nomination after her colleagues pressured her on the Senate floor. She joined GOP Sens. Susan Collins (Maine), Kelly Ayotte (N.H.), Lindsey Graham (S.C.), John McCain (Ariz.) and Mark Kirk (Ill.).
Ranking member of the Senate Judiciary Committee Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) said he wouldn’t support Jones’s nomination because he is accused of “retaliating against a whistle-blower.”